Updated: 31/10/17 : 05:45:09
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RTÉ archive has hours of material on Sligo

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

EIGHTY THREE items of interest in Sligo come up on a random search of the RTÉ television news online archives.

Items online include Sligo GAA’s ground breaking 1975 win in the Connacht Senior Championship after 47 years, only their second ever win at that time.

Ship Aground

Match highlights are commentated by Liam Campbell, one of RT’És best know GAA names for decades.

Archive items include many reports by Tommie Gorman, later to become RTÉ’s European and then Northern Editor

Gorman reported in April 1985 on the Dutch cargo ship which ran aground in Sligo.

But who recalls the ship’s name without checking the online archive.

Also online in the archive is Frank O’Connor, former Sligo librarian and foremost Irish short story author, in Drumcliffe in 1965 for the centenary of WB Yeats birth.

Tragedies aplenty feature in the filmed reports of the RTÉ online archive.

Harney Trip

One of the most interesting local items in the RTÉ archive concerns the flight to Sligo by ex Tánaiste Mary Harney in 2002.

Harney used a State aircraft, at a cost of €2,000 an hour, to fly to Sligo and back to Dublin.....to open a pub off-license for a friend. 

A Garda driver was also tasked to pick up Harney in Strandhill and deliver her to Manorhamilton, site of the off-license.

The RTÉ online archive contains a lengthy RTÉ Morning Ireland radio interview on the subject of the Sligo flight with Phoenix editor Paddy Prendiville. 

Meanwhile, filmed reports in bulletins for 15 years at the end of the 20th century had been showing some signs of decay.

Coming Years

Now, nearly 9,000 hours of nationwide news bulletins are being put on digital files to ensure their long term preservation.

This updated content will be released online over the coming years, RTÉ announced last week.

Digital files have been made of the station’s reports recorded on videotape between 1985 and 1999.


This work was done with the support of the Broadcast Authority of Ireland Archiving Scheme, said RTÉ.

Decay Risk

The period 1985 - 1999 was chosen because RTÉ News reports from this time had been recorded on Beta SP videotape a format “which is now vulnerable to decay.”

In March 1985 RTÉ News moved from recording news stories on film to Electronic News Gathering using videotape.    

RTÉ Archives has now begun to make this 14 years of Irish and international news stories available online. 

The publication of this collection now starts with 10 months of news made up of almost 1500 reports from 1985. 

Link to Morning Ireland radio item on Mary Harney’s 2002 flight to Sligo:-

http://www.rte.ie/archives/2017/0111/844168-tanaiste-takes-a-trip/